Just recently, the AKF office took a call from a developer who wanted to know what to do with a Koala up a tree in an area about to be cleared. Sadly this kind of phone call is all too common here and our CEO, Deborah Tabart OAM, took the time to explain to three increasingly senior staffers at the company why this Koala's chances of long term survival are now very very poor.
Deborah also offered to provide education and information to the company on how development and Koalas can exist in harmony - as is the case at Koala Beach.
In 1993 the Australian Koala Foundation (AKF) and the Ray Group agreed to work together to bridge the gap between conservation and development.
Koala Beach, home to a small but significant Koala population, was the first property to be master planned and designed with the protection of the environment as its priority.
To ensure the protection of the resident Koala colony and other important wildlife a number of initiatives were developed. These included:
Out of a total area of 365 hectares, 272.395 hectares have been dedicated intact to conservation.
The developer and the AKF planted additional food and habitat trees for Koalas and other native species living on the site.
In addition to the Koala population, Koala Beach is home to approximately 25 species of endangered or rare flora and fauna.
Despite its early skeptics, Koala Beach has been hailed a success by developers, residents and biologists. It has provided the perfect model for the coexistence of wildlife and humans, and applauded as a "made for the future development" (The Weekend Australian).
There is no reason why all developers can't work in this way. But until a Koala Protection Act is in place to tell them they must - the AKF will continue to get phone calls about Koalas stuck in trees as land is cleared around them.